My house is quiet now, and I can think after the busy of the day.
Sometimes, as life is happening (or falling apart!), it can be easy to wonder why something is going down the way it is; you can feel crushed by emotion, disappointment, heartache, doubt and questions. You can see your failings and beat yourself up. You can guess and second guess. It can feel like you're in a tunnel and things don't make a whole lot of sense and you can't even seem to see the next step ahead.
I think everyone has times like that.
But the thing that amazes me, over and over again?
If I hold on long enough, I realize that God knew all along where I was, and He also knew the precise pieces that would bring blessing, peace, and healing.
Last week I finished an assignment I've had for almost 3.5 years.
It has been my absolute privilege to work with the children in my neighborhood. We've spent hours singing together, learning music, talking with each other, and laughing. I've been able to share pieces of my heart -- and of the convictions that are there -- with them.
Today I stood in front of them---and I cried. I told them how much I love them and how much I have loved the tender experiences that have come into my life -- and heart -- from my time with them.
The truth is?
My heart is pretty sad and I've cried quite a bit.
But I feel sadness because I also feel profound gratitude and love, and I will cherish this little window of time -- and those little people -- for the rest of my life.
And when I sing a certain song or think about a particular phrase, they'll be the people that come to my mind. I'll think about how their goodness and purity and strength deepened what I feel in my heart and how they made my life more beautiful.
And, here's the thing. I was given this assignment just a couple of weeks before my life, as I knew it, started to unravel, right before my little boat came into rapids that eventually dropped over a waterfall that brought heartache and excruciating pain -- the likes of which I had never known before.
And as I look back today, they were one of the pieces that brought profound joy and peace into my life. Teaching them was a process of focusing on basic, distilled, beautiful, simple truths: talking about all of us as children of a loving God who is aware of and communicates with His children, about the importance of relationships, about living with heart and conviction.
And I guess all I have to say tonight is that God knows us and knows what we need -- in whatever circumstances we're in, and from whatever way we look at the world.
It's a reminder I need, even now, and it's simply this:
If you're in the dark, and you're not sure where the road is going or why it seems to be winding the way that it does, eventually it's going to make sense.
And eventually, one of the really lovely things?
You also see, in very personal ways, that God brought joy and blessing to you, even right in the middle of the heartache.
This simple truth leaves me with a full, full heart.